How often are we reminded by the old adage that "the only constant in life is change?" We will soon see this in the universal Church and in our diocesan Cursillo Movement: at the end of February: our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI will step down to be succeeded by – as I write – only the Holy Spirit knows and
Mary Ann Dowd will soon be succeeded by Ronnie Martella as our Lay Director (interesting how they will both happen on the same day, isn't it?)
As much as we would wish things to stay the same, our experience and our intellect tell us that this is impossible. Even the Church, as it moves through time, seems to be subject to the forces that refuse to allow things in this life to remain static. We are most poignantly reminded of this when we experience life-changing events ourselves, such as a change in job, financial status or health; when our children start out on their own; the welcoming into or the loss of a loved one from our family. How can we possibly find an anchor to cling to when even what we find so dear to us – who and what we so often rely upon – seem to be in our lives only for a short while?
Well, we do know of two things that will never change: the truth and God's love for each of us. Even as the Church prays for and awaits a new Vicar of Christ on earth, even as we prepare to welcome Ronnie into her new responsibilites, we know that what each of these leaders represent remains constant. Maybe the reason behind even these changes is to remind us that the Church and – through its special calling and participation – our Cursillo Movement share the same unchanging mission: to continually live and present the immutable truth and knowledge of God's love to others and to respond to the challenges made by the world, in a way that remains vital and relevant at a time when values and priorites seem to change daily. Yes, the truth and God's love remain the same, but how the world will react and apply them (if indeed it chooses to apply them at all) changes. The faithful are called to interpret and present them in ways that both respects the inherent, transcendent meaning of those gifts and can truly, concretely touch the hearts of those who receive them.
With humble thanks to Pope Benedict and Mary Ann for their servant-leadership, we also pray for our Church leaders and our new Lay Director as they assume their duties. May God continue to give them the courage and the grace needed to truly reach people "where they live" and to bring us all closer to Christ!